Thursday, August 16, 2012

Is the Book of Mormon More Correct than the D&C and PofGP?

Joseph Smith recorded _
"I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book." History of the Church, 4:461

This statement presents a lot of questions. The most obvious being what of the Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price? Are these books less correct than the Book of Mormon?

I believe that Joseph Smith wasn't thinking of the D&C and PofGP as finished books at the time of making this statement. After all additions to them were made afterward, by himself. I believe his statement refers to the Book of Mormon relative to the Bible. He is presenting that as the Bible has been doctored, the Book of Mormon is more correct.

Yet still on the title page of the Book of Mormon, Moroni states _
"And now, if there are faults they are the mistakes of men; wherefore, condemn not the things of God" Introduction, Title Page

So Moroni has accepted that mistakes can still occur when man is writing or dictating Scripture. And he has accepted that such mistakes can exist in the work they have put on gold plates. Additionally several times throughout the Book of Mormon the writers refer to the problems they have expressing their real meanings, due to the sloppiness of hieroglyphics.

Moroni states _
"...and if we could have written in Hebrew, behold, you would have had no imperfection in our record." Mormon 9:33

So again we have Moroni stating that imperfections exist in the Book of Mormon. Yet he believes that writing in Hebrew would resolve the problem.

Another point that members tend to raise in a positive light for the Book of Mormon relative to other sets of our Scriptures, is that it is written for our day. However that isn't correct. It would be correct to say that it was compiled on the gold plates for our value today. But it was written for the people at the time. Alma (for example) was not writing to us. He was writing for the value of his people. As surely as Moses wasn't writing in the Old Testament to us just because we have it today either. He was writing to the people of his time mostly.

In regard the Doctrine and Covenants it states at the front _
"The Doctrine and Covenants is a collection of divine revelations and inspired declarations given for the establishment and regulation of the kingdom of God on the earth in the last days." Explanatory Introduction

So the D&C was written for our time much more than the Book of Mormon was.

The completing of the D&C and PofGP as finished books brings them equal status as Keystones to our religion. The D&C contains many unique doctrines that aren't contained in the Book of Mormon. And the PofGP teaches many different things. The whole concept of continued revelation is more evident by the creation of the D&C than the one off revelatory interpretation of the gold plates.

This brings us down to the question of whether the Book of Mormon will get you nearer to God by abiding by its precepts than the Doctrine and Covenants or Pearl of Great Price? This is one place where the Book of Mormon wins. The teachings that Christ presented in the ancient Americas contain the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ in its perfect form. There is nowhere else where it is more clearly stated than in 3rd Nephi.


Anonymous said...

Doug I was curious if you knew why the LDS temple ceremony and some symbols are so similar to what the freemasons already had and have used?

Doug Towers said...


The Masons declare that their symbols came from Solomon's Temple. They say that they have been handed down in something close to perfect order.

It must be noted that the various branches of Masonary have added some personal bits into them. Yet there is still a lot of consistency with each other.

These symbols, like all temple symbols, represent hidden meanings. In other words they are like Christ teaching parables to hide the meaning from those not ready to understand.

If you read through the rituals given to Moses by God you will see that there is a relationship between what the symbols were and what happened with Christ, when he came to earth. Yet those meanings stayed hidden from those not ready to understand.

Our temple symbols represent many of those same teachings that the ones did at the time of Solomon. Thus you will find them the same as the Masonic ones, in some parts of the endowment.

Anonymous said...

Hi Doug,

I apologize for the off topic question, but I've wondered a little bit lately about eternal progression in kingdoms. I've heard differing opinions on the matter and haven't been able to determine a clear cut answer either way. If you inherit the Terrestial Kingdom for example, is there only an opportunity to progress within that specific kingdom, or is there the opportunity for progression within kingdoms?

Doug Towers said...


Normally I handle questions on my Questions and Answers site (the link is near the top). This last topic had recently been answered on that site, so I answered it here.

However as this would be better with a more complete answer I will answer it there. So your question will be presented and answered in a post on that site.

I should have it posted within a week - all going well.